A Bar Nunn man pleaded not guilty in Natrona County District Court on Thursday to five felony counts alleging he was involved in a summer 2015 home invasion robbery in which three people were tied up in a Casper mobile home.
A conviction on all five counts — which include aggravated robbery, aggravated burglary and conspiracy — would mean Gabriel K. Ingles could serve an effective life sentence.
Ingles spoke only to enter his pleas and answer procedural questions from the judge.
Ingles and three alleged co-conspirators made off with cell phones, sneakers, a Playstation 4 and marijuana pipes, according to court documents. The documents indicate that the men planned the burglary because they thought the occupants of the home sold marijuana.
The alleged victim told police that he and his two friends had been sleeping when two men burst into his bedroom wielding guns and a hatchet. The man’s friends, both under 18 and thus unidentified in the court documents, were sleeping in the living room at the time, according to the documents. The man told police that intruders had threatened to kill him and his family if he went to police.
Although the robbery is alleged to have occurred in July 2015, police were not alerted until January 2016, when an informant told police a group had robbed another man at gunpoint, according to court documents.
One of the alleged victims told police he also did not report the burglary because one intruder told him he would kill the victim’s family if police were contacted, according to the documents.
Ingles told a Casper police detective that he had driven three other men carrying duffel bags and a sawed-off shotgun away from the trailer home in question one night, according to court documents.
On Thursday, Judge Thomas Sullins took issue with how the District Attorney’s office filed some of the charges. The judge cited a recent Wyoming Supreme Court decision in questioning whether the prosecution’s decision to file two charges in a single count against Ingles would stand up in court. One of the counts against Ingles includes both aggravated robbery and accessory to aggravated robbery before the fact. Another one is similar, except the underlying allegation relates to aggravated burglary.
Both of those counts may contain duplicitous charges, Sullins said, though he did not take any further action on the issue.
Ingles remained free Thursday on a $2,000 surety bond. Sullins also questioned the bond amount, citing a concern about community safety.
After a two-and-a-half minute bench conference in which attorneys and the judge spoke outside earshot of the audience, Sullins said he would “reluctantly” allow the bond to remain the same.
Ingles is expected to go to trial in March.
Konnor Rollison, of Mills, and Tanner K. Davis, of Cheyenne, pleaded not guilty to related charges earlier this year.